This legislative session opened looking like it would be the most firearms-friendly in years.
Republican Rep. Larry Phillips’ open carry bill will be considered Monday morning by the Senate State Affairs Committee.
Considering the Senate has already passed its own bill allowing so-called “open carry,” the House’s proposal suggests guns are poised to move back to the top of Texas lawmakers’ agendas. Phillips’ measure would allow licensed gun owners the right to open carry in most public places, sans businesses that have rules against it.
Gov. Greg Abbott and the Legislature’s strong Republican majority have pushed open carry as an important gun rights and self-defense measure. Most Democrats have opposed it, noting concerns from police in the state’s largest cities and gun control advocates about public safety.
Some in the state are even pushing for “constitutional carry” – a move that would allow anyone who legally owns a handgun to carry it openly. Last month Republican Rep. Jonathan Stickland offered an amendment for just that.